Infancy

The infant hand (luring the first weeks of life is diminutive, about the size of an adult thumb, although this varies with individuals, At birth it may be thin and wrinkled or somewhat fleshy, but the skin texture is fine and satiny. One important characteristic is that there are no protrusions such as knuckles or prominent wrist bones which mark points at which forms are joined. Instead, the infant hand has only dimpled depressions at the finger segments and fatty rolls at the wrist, since the skeletal structure of the hand is only partially formed in the finger and metacarpal shanks. The terminals are cartilaginous material, soft and unformed, as are the wrist bones.

The top sketch shows the infant hand at six weeks. Note that the length of the outstretched hand from wrist to tip of middle finger is about the same as that from elbow to wrist. Also note the pudgy look of the fingers and the contractions at the joints as described above.

The middle and lower sketches show the infant hand at about four to six months. Already the forms are more defined, the fingers mone active, the behavior mom certain. This shows in the hand becoming much more open, rather than curled and closed, a? in the newborn infant, Also note the emerging knuckles.

Infant Hands

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